Is Inheritance Divided According to Area or Value of Land?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

My maternal grandmother passed away last year leaving behind 2 children; a boy (my uncle) and a girl (my mother). Her husband (my grandfather) died long ago. She left behind a plot of land. My mother claims that the total price of the entire plot must be divided into thirds and she is entitled to one-third of that value, and her brother is entitled to two-thirds of that value – instead of simply dividing land in terms of area. Is her claim valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, your mother’s claim is correct, namely, that she has a right to one third of the value of the entire plot.

Allah Most High says, “These entitlements are the limits set by Allah.” [4:13]

After death, every part of the estate is owned by the heirs according to their respective share. Thereafter, one party cannot simply divide the estate as they wish, especially when it is to the detriment of the other inheritors. Rather, there needs to be clear agreement between everybody.

Given that this is a sensitive issue, I’d suggest that you consider involving a respectable third party and a scholar to ensure that everybody gets their full share.

Please also see: Dividing an estate for inheritence and: Inheritance Laws: Can I Stipulate Other Than the Determined Amounts Mentioned in the Qur’an?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.